The 2020 FIFA Club World Cup – Qatar will be staged with strict measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, Qatari organisers said on Saturday less than two weeks before the tournament which will be closed to overseas fans.
It is due to get underway on February 4 with spectator numbers capped at 30 percent of capacity at each of the two 40,000-seat grounds which will host games.
“Fans will have to undergo rapid PCR or antigen tests up to 72 hours before each match. If it comes out negative they are allowed to receive their ticket,” said Abdulwahab Al Musleh, sports affairs adviser to Qatar’s health ministry.
Social distancing, mask wearing and use of Qatar’s contract tracing app and sanitiser will be mandatory, he added, during a media briefing in Doha.
International fans will be unable to attend because of Qatar’s virus mitigation measures, and there will be no public events including fan zones.
On January 15, Auckland City withdrew from February’s tournament, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine measures required by the New Zealand authorities.
FIFA said it would work with the Qatari authorities to provide “the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the competition”.
The February 4-11, 2020 FIFA Club World Cup will now be contested by Qatar’s Al Duhail, Al Ahly of Egypt, Germany’s Bayern Munich, South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai, Mexico’s Tigres UANL and the winners of the CONMEBOL Libertadores final scheduled for January 30.
The first round match will no longer take place and Al Duhail will begin the competition in the second round. The competition format remains otherwise unchanged.
Matches will be held at Qatar’s recently inaugurated Ahmad Bin Ali and Education City stadiums, important test fixtures ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Qatar.
More information on the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup – Qatar is available on FIFA.com .